5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Annual Meeting

1. Educational Opportunities

No matter how experienced you are, everyone can learn.  The Annual Meeting can provide educational opportunities that can expose you to new ideas and trends, as well as, further your professional development.  Some of these opportunities include:

  • Engaging in discussions about emerging topics in transportation with professionals throughout the west
  • Earning PDHs for your PE
  • Exploring innovative transportation solutions
  • Participating in Leadership mentoring
  • Gathering with committees on leading edge initiatives and technical products
  • Discovering first hand experiences in other communities on how they have advanced vision zero, smart mobility, transportation health and equity, autonomous vehicles, access for all modes of travel, complete streets and livable communities
  • Obtaining information about changes in transportation performance measures/measures of effectiveness and the advancing tools and data to bring to your agency/employer

2. Networking Opportunities

The Annual Meeting provides ample opportunities to establish relationships and network with your peers.  You may meet someone at a meal, in the exhibit hall or wherever and within a few minutes, you can make a connection with someone that could dramatically impact your professional career.  This is especially important since these peers can become valuable resources for information, referrals, and best-practices.

3. Interaction with Solution Partners

Discovering innovative products and services for our industry is necessary to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced world.  The Annual Meeting provides a casual venue in which to interact with exhibitors who provide products, software and services for our industry.  They may have innovative solutions to share or insight on emerging trends that could provide valuable to you in the future.

4. Professional Recognition

Presenting at conferences like the Annual Meeting is a way to establish/increase your credibility and expertise in our field.  When you actively participate in a conference, you can develop a reputation as an expert to your peers and your clients, and develop leadership skills.  In addition, presenting will make you more confident about the work that you do, and give you new perspective about your work as people may ask questions that make you think about your project differently.  At a conference you have the opportunity to get feedback on your work from people who have never seen it before and may provide new insight.

5. Have Fun

Conferences like the Annual Meeting can add a layer of enjoyment by mixing a social aspect into your educational and career growth efforts.  The Annual Meeting has a number of fun activities such as family friendly events, themed banquets, and tours (technical or otherwise) of the local area where the meeting is hosted.  Take the opportunity to jump on a bike and experience all kinds of transportation applications in a new community.  When people can have enjoyable experiences combined with professional learning experiences, companies often see benefits from improved moods, increased motivation and higher productivity.

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